Through a combination of pre-recorded videos and a live online discussion session, get an introductory understanding of the theory of archaeological science and conservation of marine finds.

This course can be taken in conjunction with the practical course on Archaeological Science and Conservation of Marine Finds, held at Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth UK on 1 October.

Anyone with an interest in scientific analysis and examination of artefacts and ecofacts from wreck sites. This course completements the practical course mentioned above as well as many other courses on conservation.

Angela Middleton, Senior Archaeological Conservator at Historic England

Francesca Gherardi, Materials Scientist at Historic England

Polydora Baker, Senior Zooarchaeologist at Historic England

Ruth Pelling, Archaeobotanist at Historic England

A computer or tablet (phone screens are a bit small to look at for the whole day) with a good internet connection is essential. A built-in or external webcam and microphone are optional. A week before the course you will receive an invitation to the online course session which will be run through Zoom. 

If you are concerned about your computer set up, please contact the organiser at [email protected] for a test run before the course.

NAS members £40
Non-NAS members £80 (although as NAS membership starts at £12, you're better off becoming a member and getting the discount rate immediately!)


Pre-recorded videos Online Conservation Schedule

In this Archaeological Science and Conservation of Marine Finds online course, participants will have access to the following pre-recorded videos for several weeks before the live online session 17th September 2022.

  • First Aid for Maritime Finds - Angela Middleton (30mins)

Practical tips and advice on recovery, labelling, storage on-site and preparing artefacts for transport to a conservation facility as part of an archaeological project.

  • Sampling and plant remains from Wreck Sites - Ruth Pelling (45mins)

The potential information gained from well-preserved plant remains on wreck sites will be the focus of this presentation including how to sample the remains, successfully recover, interpret and preserve them.

  • Zooarchaeology of Wreck Sites - Polydora Baker (45mins)

Participants will gain an understanding of the types of zooarchaeological remains recovered from shipwrecks, preservation factors, the information they can provide about the transport and trade of animals, meat and fish products, and raw materials; diet, status and social life; and pets and pests and how to recover them correctly.

  • Introduction to Materials Science in Heritage Studies - Francesca Gherardi (45mins)

Learn about the scientific techniques used to work out how, where, when and why different materials were made in the past with a particular focus on discoveries from wrecks.

  • Introduction to Archaeological Conservation and marine materials - Angela Middleton (45mins)

Learn about the most commonly found shipwreck materials and how they change in the marine environment and learn how to spot signs of active decay.

  • Case studies - Angela Middleton (45mins)

Using examples from the London, Northumberland and Rooswijk wrecks, learn about the complex nature of conserving maritime finds and find out what can be achieved when conservation is fully integrated into the archaeological process.

Live Online Discussion Panel – 17 September

Course attendees will participate in a live online discussion session with the experts from the pre-recorded videos explaining in more detail their area of expertise or answering participants’ questions. There will also be some engaging practical exercises to do during the session.